This post discusses why the term 'plus-sized model' is misleading.
The average height for a female model is between 5’8 and 5’11. The average weight is around 120 pounds. The issue with this? The average height for a woman is somewhere around 5’4, whilst doctors consider 135 pounds, give or take, to be a healthy weight for a woman who stands around 5’4. For a woman who stands 5’11, a healthy weight would be around 160 pounds, 40 pounds heavier than the typical runway model. The problems this creates are obvious. Not only do people develop unrealistic expectations of the body, but they also develop a skewed perspective. Now there are women who are healthy at 5’11 and 120 pounds, just as there are women who are healthy at 5’2 and 160 pounds. Every body is different. The problem though is the terminology being employed to describe women.
Throughout the 1940’s and through to the 1960’s, it was not uncommon to see curvaceous women modelling clothes. Marilyn Monroe was considered perhaps the greatest sex symbol of her era. Her figure was far more realistic than that of a typical runway model. At 5’5 and ranging anywhere from 120-140 pounds, Monroe would have struggled to get access to a runway today, just as we see models like Kate Upton get rejected by high-fashion magazines because of her curvaceous figure. The pin-up models of the post-WWII era shared similar features, but this too was a problem. It also created unrealistic expectations. These women were are very busty and wide hipped. Many women, who were thinner or more petite, had no way of achieving the standard of beauty embraced in the era. They could not make their breasts bigger or their hips wider and so found themselves outside of the scope of what was projected as beautiful.
Read more with many photos at: http://www.literaryramblings.com/the-myth-of-the-plus-sized-model